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Cornea

What is Cornea?

Cornea is a glass like transparent structure that covers the front portion of the eye. It bends the incoming light towards the back of the eye to form a distinct and clear image. The power of the cornea is approximately 43 diopters and it accounts for almost two third of the refractive power of the eye.

What are the common Corneal Disorders?

Some of the more common corneal disorders are listed below:

Corneal Abrasion

It is an emergency medical condition caused due to trauma that leads to loss of the superficial most layer of the cornea. It usually leads to pain, redness and watering. It is best to immediately consult an ophthalmologist for examination and appropriate treatment.

Corneal Stromal Dystrophy

It is a genetic disorder in which the normal glass like transparent cornea becomes clouded due to deposition of abnormal material. It could involve a part of the cornea or sometime involve complete cornea. It usually leads to deterioration in vision with episodes of pain and watering. Treatment of the condition includes removal or replacement of the affected part of the cornea.

Corneal Ulcer

It is an inflammatory or infective condition of the cornea leading to pain, watering and discharge. It can be spontaneous in origin or follow trauma to the eye. Certain conditions like diabetes and immunocompromised status would predispose to this condition.

Fuchs' Dystrophy

It is a condition where the innermost part of the cornea stops functioning properly. It initially leads to cloudy morning vision which keeps on deteriorating gradually. The treatment for the disorder is selective corneal transplantation of the innermost layer of the cornea.

Keratoconus

It is a degenerative condition of the cornea in which it becomes thin and changes shape to become conical. It leads to frequent change in glasses and diminution of vision. It can be corrected by contact lens and collagen crosslinking in early stages however it may require surgery in advanced stages.

What are the common symptoms of corneal disorders?

With its ability for quick repair, the cornea usually heals after most minor injuries or infections. However, during the healing process a variety of symptoms may be experienced, including:

  • Pain,
  • Blurred vision,
  • Tearing,
  • Redness,
  • Sensitivity to light

What are the technologies used for detecting corneal disorders?

An eye doctor will first review the patient`s clinical history and perform a careful examination of the eye. The cornea is then examined in detail using a slit lamp microscope which shows a magnified image of the disorder. Additional testing may include tomography (Pentacam HR) which is used to study the shape of the cornea, Pachymetry (ASOCT) which enables us to measure the thickness of the cornea, Specular microscopy to study the posterior layer of the cornea. Various additional tests may be required to study the tear film and ocular surface in addition to the cornea.

What are the treatment modalities for corneal disorders?

Treatment for corneal disorders has to be tailored to the specific disease and the individual patient. It may include medications (eye drops), laser treatment, or surgery, depending on the severity of the condition.

Infections are often treated with concentrated eyedrops and, in certain cases, oral medication. An abrasion might require temporary patching or a temporary contact lens. Keratoconus, in which the cornea is conical, is often managed with special contact lenses. Newer treatment modalities, include corneal crosslinking (involves use of riboflavin and ultraviolet-A radiation), laser ablation (topoguided ablation) and corneal implants (INTACS), are also options. Advanced cases need to be treated with a corneal transplant.

Autoimmune disorders are best treated by collaborating with a immunologist and addressing the underlying disease first. Corneal disease is often managed with anti-inflammatory eyedrops such as steroids. Allergic eye disease responds well to both eye drops and oral medication.

A pterygium is a membranous growth on the cornea's surface which is most commonly seen after long term sun exposure. They can be removed surgically if they lead to decrease in vision or become bothersome. Cancers of the surface of the eye need surgical treatment however in minority of cases, eyedrops or injections suffice.

Dry eye is common condition and can lead to painful erosions of the corneal surface. Lubricating the eyes with artificial tears is the mainstay of therapy. However it is also vital to address the underlying cause for dry eye.

When to contact your doctor?

Contact urgently in case of

  • Severe pain,
  • Blurred vision,
  • Tearing,
  • Redness,
  • Extreme sensitivity to light,
  • Discharge

Treatment usually includes antibiotic or antifungal eye drops. Sometimes, antiviral drugs and steroid eye drops are necessary.

Why Medanta - the Medicity?

Medanta's new Ophthalmology division aims to constantly upgrade patient's experience. All the equipments and software are advanced to the modern in technology and safety standards to seek for improvement and higher precision in our treatments. The division is the one of the first centre in Delhi, NCR to have the No-Blade Laser Refractive Surgery Suite that offers this technology for much improved safety and outcomes for removal of glasses. It is also one of the first centres to perform topoguided ablation in Keratoconus patients in India.

Each of the elements of this suite is designed to correct corneal disorder, from the planning process through laser based surgery on the latest generation system to the final image guided corneal transplantation.

Also, our division offers the widest range of contact lenses to help you achieve the visual results and the freedom from glasses that you have always wanted. Our doctors will carefully select and recommend the lens most suitable for you from the best manufacturers.